2014 Wrap Up (Bahamas, Europe, Commonwealth Games, Morocco)

WOW! What an athletics season this has been. 2014 has definitely been my biggest and best year running and I have loved every minute of it.

Starting with the Nationals & Commonwealth Games Selection Trials where I ran a PB and qualified for the Commonwealth Games, then onto the World Relay Championships in the Bahamas which was an amazing experience to run for the Australian 4x400m team... and this was all before May!

Then began my journey to the Commonwealth Games, which was a long one! Starting with a training stint in Cologne, Germany for a month amongst some other Comm Games team members where we travelled around Europe for races to prepare. Then a week with the Australian team in Gateshead in England for final training and team preparations.... Finally I moved into the Village in Glasgow and began the most memorable week of my life!

The whole experience was very surreal, eating in the dining hall with superstar athletes, training amongst the Australian team, but most memorable was of course walking into the main stadium which was filled with people cheering, and running some great 400ms, holding my own against the world's best.

I ran some of my fastest times ever across the 4 races that week, my final results were 10th in the 400m and 4th in the 4x400m which I am extremely happy with!

Here is the only video I could find online: Relay Final (1st leg (52.2)- 4th place)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBUSomNbZC4&w=560&h=315]

Upon returning home to Australia after a short break I was asked to compete for Asia-Pacific in the Continental Cup in Marrakech, Morocco. I knew I was not anywhere near the shape I had been in Glasgow but unfortunately had less than 2 weeks notice to prepare before I flew out to run the 400m and the 4x400m. It was still a great experience and is the fastest race I've ever been a part of as the winner ran 49 seconds! I finished 7th in the individual and 4th in the relay, which I was happy with considering my lack of preparation..

Now I am finally back home and starting back at training to build a big fitness base. I have made the very hard decision to change coaches and training squads after a decade, but am excited as to what the future holds now.

I just want to say a huge THANK YOU to every single person who supported me along this journey, I would not have been able to do it without you. I am so grateful to have an amazing team of family, friends, support staff, and readers who push me to achieve my goals every day.

IAAF World Relay Championships, Bahamas 2014

Hello! So I have just returned from a whirlwind trip that took me around the other side of the world and back again within a week! This was to compete for Australia at the first ever IAAF World Relay Championships in the Bahamas in which I was selected as part of the women's 4x400m team. The 4x400m team was made up of Morgan Mitchell (400m - VIC), Jess Gulli (400m hurdle - VIC), Lyndsay Pekin (400m hurdles- WA), and myself (400m - NSW). After two and a half days of travel through America and the Caribbean, we arrived in the beautiful balmy Nassau in the Bahamas. As this was the first time the event had ever been held, we really didn't know what to expect but as soon as we arrived we were stunned with how professional and happy everyone was to have us there! The Bahamians really put on a great show and we were very well looked after. Particularly on the accommodation side of things...

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Our races were scheduled for Saturday afternoon (the 4x400m preliminary heat) and Sunday night (the 4x400m A and B Finals). Unfortunately after receiving the lane draws for the preliminary round we discovered that we had landed the hardest heat with USA, Jamaica, England and Poland, all who had sent their top teams. This was going to make it very tough for our team to get through to the A Final. Considering it was the first time we had ever run as a team, we exceeded everyone's expectations by running a great time (3:30.90) and coming 6th in the heat. I ran the first leg and handed the baton to Jess Gulli, who in turn passed it onto Lyndsay Pekin, and then it was on to Morgan Mitchell to bring it home.

ImageUnfortunately our place was not enough to run in the A final (annoyingly if we had've been in the other heat our time would have made it through!!) But nevertheless we were through to the B Final and still had very quality teams to run against in Canada, the Bahamas, and Trinidad & Tobago.

We changed a few of the positions in our team to ensure we had smooth changes and possible a better chance. The new order was 1st leg: Me, 2nd leg: Morgan Mitchell, 3rd leg: Jess Gulli, 4th leg: Lyndsay Pekin.

Everyone ran exceptionally well and we managed to pass the baton in the lead at each change. The enormous crowd that filled the stadium was on their feet cheering for the Bahaman team, it was so loud but amazing at the same time! We extended the lead in the last leg and won the race from the Bahamas and Trinidad & Tobago in a very similar time to the day before, 3:31.10 sec. It was such a gutsy run from everyone and that made it even more exciting to win the race as a team. The experience has given us a lot of confidence and a lot of things to learn before we compete again at the Commonwealth Games in August. It definitely brought us together and makes us very hungry to do well at the Games.

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You can watch the videos of each race here:

Day One (Skip ahead to 2hrs 22mins for our entry to the track)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9Shy_BRqAU&w=560&h=315]

 

Day Two (Skip ahead to 32mins)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHHvVojVQjc&w=560&h=315]

 

I met some amazing athletes and gained so much from the experience, it has made me that much more excited to head overseas to Europe to finalise my Commonwealth Games preparations.

The final Commonwealth Games Team selection is announced this Monday the 2nd of June, which I am hoping to be officially selected in the 400m individual, and the 4x400m team. Fingers crossed!

Thank you for every body's support! Please enjoy this slideshow of photos from my trip.

 

A. xx